During the time of prayer we consent to God’s presence and action within.
– Thomas Keating
What does it mean to consent to God’s presence and action within?
When I practice centering prayer I detach from my thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. I ever so gently let them go and return to my sacred word.
It only takes a mere second or less for God to take ACTION within me. (I am detached when I am in the spaces between my thoughts and emotions.)
During these times it is like a reverse prayer. God prays in me.
What ACTION does God take?
Truthfully, I do not know. I only know my job is to be patient. My job is to let this be revealed by God when God is ready.
During centering prayer my job is to DETACH. When I detach, I let more and more of God in. What comes in? I will leave that to God. God knows what I need. God also knows when it needs to come out as ACTION in my daily life.
I simply need to repeat this pattern.
1. DETACH. (During Centering Prayer)
2. Let God’s ACTION in. (During Centering Prayer)
3. Let God’s ACTION in me come out during my daily life. (During my Non Centering Prayer times)
I seem to arise from my silent sits with an Inner Nudge. These are the things God wishes I do just today. I feel an inner peace about them. They are things that will not harm me or others. I might be afraid to try them because they are out of my comfort zone but that is not a reason not to try and do them. God will partner with me.
Do you consent to God’s presence and ACTION within?
For those not familiar with Centering Prayer let me share the steps below as pulled from the Contemplative Outreach site:
- Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.
- Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
- When engaged with your thoughts, return ever-so-gently to the sacred word.
- At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.
Learn more about Centering Prayer here.
Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating
Open Mind, Open Heart 20th Anniversary Edition by Thomas Keating
Manifesting God by Thomas Keating
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The Gift of Life by Thomas Keating, Mary Anne Best, Susan Rush: This course will explore the gift of life in all its phases, even those of diminishment and death, as phrases of evolution and transformation in and through Christ. It is based on the recent DVD series with Fr. Thomas Keating, The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living.
A Simple Immediacy: Desert Wisdom for Advent by Cynthia Bourgeault: The Desert Fathers and Mothers of the fourth and fifth centuries are arguably the first Wisdom School in Christian history. At first in trickles and then in waves, they fled into the deserts of Egypt and Syria to escape the increasing imperialization of the Christian Church and to live in a simple immediacy with the Risen Christ. In the process, they generated an extraordinary body of practical teachings on the spiritual practices underlying this life of deeper awareness and mystical union.
Wisdom for Living: The Parables of Jesus by Thomas Keating, Contemplative Outreach: When rightly understood, the parables help us to see how extraordinary a wisdom teacher Jesus really was, and how revolutionary, in the best sense of the word, was the content of what he taught and to which he bore witness by his life and death.